How to file vehicle insurance claims

Increasing number of accidents and incidents of vehicle thefts has made it essential for policyholders to know how to file car insurance claims

November 26, 2012 3:12 IST | India Infoline News Service

When you buy a new car, you also need to take care of the car—which costs money. Most of us know that maintenance and operating cost are the usual expenses. But, what happens when an unfortunate incident may occur that may damage your vehicle.

The best way to protect your car against such unfortunate incidences is by insuring a car by buying adequate vehicle insurance. Buying economical car insurance will relieve you from huge losses in case of any eventuality.

Increasing number of accidents and incidents of vehicle thefts has made it essential for policyholders to know how to file car insurance claims. The below article provides information on how to file car insurance claims.

When the accident happens, call your insurance company representative as soon as possible—even if you are away from home or someone else caused the accident. It does not matter where the accident takes place. If your motor insurance policy is in force, you remain insured throughout the country.

In case of vehicle theft, inform your insurance company’s representative immediately after lodging an FIR (first information report). Your insurance company will handle the claim process as your advocate.

The following information is required while intimating a claim

  • Your contact numbers
  • Car insurance policy number
  • Name of insured person
  • Date & time of accident
  • Vehicle number
  • Make & model
  • Location of loss
  • Brief description on how the accident took place
  • Name of driver
  • Place & contact details of the insured person if the person intimating the claim is not insured

In case of an accident

  • Note the number of the other vehicle involved in the accident
  • Note down the names and contact details of witnesses
  • Contact our toll free number of your insurer and get your claim number / reference number
  • If the claim intimation is delayed, your insurer has the right to reject the claim
  • In case of vehicle theft, the insurance company should at least be informed on the phone right after you inform the police. The written intimation can follow later.
  • You need to check with your insurance company representative on how to proceed and what forms or documents will be required to support your claim. No repair should be done before survey of the vehicle

Documents required for accident claims

  • Claim Form duly signed
  • Registration certificate (RC) copy of the vehicle
  • Driving license copy
  • FIR
  • Original estimate
  • Original repair invoice &payment receipt

Your insurance company may require a ‘proof of loss’ form as well as documents relating to your claim (such as medical and car repair bills and a copy of the police report). Supply all the information your insurer requires to process your claim.

Maintain a record of all your expenses as a result of the accident which may be reimbursed under your policy. Some insurers also provide cashless facility for repair of your vehicle. You need to check the list of garage network that offer cashless facility for your motor car insurance. The list is usually available on the insurance company’s website. However, if the vehicle is serviced in a garage outside the purview of your insurer’s cashless garage network, then you can claim reimbursement for the same.

Documents required for theft claims

  • Claim Form duly signed
  • RC copy of the vehicle with original keys
  • Driving license copy
  • Policy copy
  • Original FIR copy
  • RTO transfer papers duly signed along with Form 28, 29, 30 and Form 35 (if hypothecated)
  • A no trace report from the police saying that the vehicle cannot be located

Although filing a claim is a quite simple process, it is important to do it properly or else the claim can become null. After you submit your claim form and the relevant documents, the insurer appoints a surveyor to inspect your vehicle and submit his report to the insurance company. You also get the details of the surveyor's report.

No repair should be done before survey of the vehicle. Survey will be arranged on receipt of claim intimation and submission of detailed estimate of repairs from the repairer. In case of major damage to the vehicle, the insurer arranges for a spot survey at the site of accident. You can undertake repairs only on completion of the survey. Once the vehicle is repaired, submit duly signed bills/cash memos to the insurer.

Some insurers have the surveyor re-inspect the vehicle after repairs. In such cases, you should pay the garage expenses and obtain a proof of release document (this is an authenticated document signed by you to release the vehicle from the garage after it is repaired).

Once the vehicle has been released, submit the original bill, proof of release and cash receipt from the garage to the surveyor. The surveyor sends the claim file to the insurance company for settlement along with all the documents. Finally, the insurance company reimburses your claim.

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